Hello and happy spring!  It has been almost two months since my last post, and truly two months since my last recipe post.  I have been preoccupied with a big project these last two months: starting my Etsy business, Odudare!  I have been working on it for years, and I even opened the shop early last year, but it’s only been in the last two months that I finally started adding items to sell and promoting it actively.  It is my hope, and my dream, that I will eventually be able to quit my day job and do Odudare full-time.  For the time being, at least, that is not possible, and it has been difficult working 40 hours a week and trying to work in my studio in (almost) all my spare time.  Needless to say, The Wooden Spoon has taken a backseat amidst all this excitement and work.  I know I can’t do everything, all at the same time, but I really want to!

Cutting shortening into flour mixture with pastry cutter

The past three days I have been home sick.  Strep throat, common cold, flu- my body can’t decide what it has.  Maybe it’s backlash from working so much, but I’ve had to step back and give in to my body, doing nothing but lying on the couch watching TV and moaning (funny, huh?).  Today, my last day of rest before returning to work, I am finally starting to feel better, and I decided to give The Wooden Spoon- and Misha, who’s now sick as well- a little TLC with cheddar cheese biscuits.

The dough after kneading. There's that wooden spoon again!

This has been the recipe I’ve been planning on making next for two months.  It’s been floating in the back of my mind, saying “make me, make me!”  I love biscuits, and a new breakfast place near our house makes awesome ones.  Homemade is always better though, and I was sure Grandma’s recipe for cheddar cheese biscuits would top the breakfast place.  Oh how right I was!  I love it when being right tastes this good!

Cheese!!!!

I only had almond milk and earth balance vegan butter sticks on hand, and given my condition, I was not going to the store.  Luckily, they substitute just fine for real milk and butter, and my biscuits turned out light, flaky, and perfect with a little bit of (real) butter and jam on them (I had enough real butter for spreading but not for shortening!).  They were also SUPER easy to make, and use ingredients you probably already have on hand.  I might even claim that these biscuits are the perfect antidote to spring sickness.  Make them the next time you’re feeling low, with a nice cup of tea, and see how much better you feel!

My jelly roll, wrapped in wax paper and ready for the fridge

p.s. A little marketing on my own blog can’t hurt, right?  Next chance you have, check out my Etsy shop, Odudare.  You will find awesome, affordable handmade pillowcases & coasters, as well as super cool hand-printed art and collages.  And more to come soon!

Grandma Elek’s Cheddar Biscuits

***This recipe can be doubled or tripled to produce more biscuits.  I doubled it this morning, and got about 10 biscuits from it***

1 cup flour

1 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ cup shortening (butter, or vegan butter substitute like Earth Balance), preferably at room temperature (too soft and your dough will be sticky, to cold and it won’t cut into your flour mixture well.  Earth Balance sticks are usually soft enough straight out of the fridge, but real butter isn’t)

1/3 cup milk (or soy milk, almond milk, etc.)

Soft butter

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat your oven to 450.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium size mixing bowl.  Cut in the shortening until particles are fine.  Cutting in shortening is easier with the help of a pastry cutter/blender.  It is also helpful to cut your shortening up into tablespoons before adding it to your flour, rather than just adding a solid block of butter.

Add milk all at once, and stir until dough clings together.  Knead lightly on floured surface 12 times, or until your dough becomes soft and pliable.  If your dough is too sticky, add a little bit of flour.

Roll or pat out to an 8×6 rectangle.  Considering that I doubled the recipe, I thought my rectangle should have been about 16×12, but it was a bit smaller than that.  The main thing is that a) you want a rectangle and b) you don’t want your rectangle to be too thick- about a ¼ inch, maybe a little more at most.

Spread soft butter all over your rectangle and sprinkle with cheese.  Starting with the 8 inch end, roll up jelly roll fashion.  Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate at least 15 minutes.

Once you remove it from the fridge, take it out of the wax paper and use a sharp knife (I used a serrated bread knife) to cut your roll into about 1 inch thick pieces.  Spray a baking pan with a high heat baking spray, and evenly space your biscuits on the pan (like you would with cookies, only biscuits don’t spread quite as much).  Bake at 450 for 15-20 minutes.  Be careful not to let them get too brown, though they should be golden and puffy.

Spread with butter and jam and enjoy!

Biscuits ready to bake on the pan

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